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Nutr Hosp. 2012 Jul-Aug;27(4):1344-50. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5890.

Risk factors associated with hepatic steatosis: a study in patients in the Northeast Brazil.

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Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Pernambuco, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.



Although there are several studies in the international literature regarding hepatic steatosis, few large-scale studies of risk factors are available.


To verify potential risk factors associated with hepatic steatosis, such as: alcohol consumption, overweight, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


This is a case series study including a control group (without hepatic steatosis), carried out at the gastroenterology outpatient clinic in Northeast Brazil. The sample was composed of 219 patients with hepatic steatosis and 82 without the disease.


There was an association between hepatic steatosis and socioeconomic status. Prevalence Ratio (PR) for family income ≤ 2 minimum wage was (PR = 1.35 CI 95%, 1.18-1.54) and education level < primary education (PR = 1.44, CI 95%,1.27-1.64). Regarding anthropometric and clinical characteristics and lipid profile, there was an association with overweight (PR = 1.59, CI 95%, 1.38-1.83), abdominal circumference in the range of very high risk (PR = 2.28, IC 95%,1.68-3.09), hypertension (PR = 1.30, CI 95%, 1.15-1.48) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (PR = 1.23, CI 95%, 1.07-1.64), low HDL-cholesterol (PR = 1,96, CI 95%, 1.55-2.48), hypertriglyceridemia (PR = 2.10, CI 95%, 1.64-2.68). In the regression model three variables remained independently associated to hepatic steatosis, abdominal circumference in the range of very high risk (PRadjusted = 1.74), low HDL-cholesterol (PRadjusted = 1.39) and overweight (PRadjusted = 1.28).


The results showed an association of hepatic steatosis with some risk factors, being abdominal circumference (very high risk) the most strongly associated, followed by low HDL-cholesterol and overweight.

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